Tuesday, August 5, 2014

7 Things to Do Before Summer Ends

What to do with the last few days of summer break? Here are some ideas that can help set you up for a strong first few weeks of school. 

1. Rest. Take a few days before school starts to rest. Take it easy. Enjoy the last few days of your summer break. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep. Get your head right. Get positive. It will be hectic soon. 

2. Finish that book you promised yourself you would read. If you are like me, you decided you wanted to read a book or several books. I have one that I borrowed from someone and told her I would read it during the summer. And the summer is almost over. I guess it's time to read the book!

3. Make that phone call you've been meaning to make all summer. Maybe there is a person you have been meaning to call. Maybe you have been deciding for a long time to do this and things got busy and you didn't do it. Give them a call. I bet they will appreciate it. Maybe even write a letter, you know the old kind with an envelope and a stamp. Now that would really make someone feel special! 

4. Review the basics of teaching. I don't mean to be insulting here, but all of us forget things especially when it is not part of our routine. You probably have some excellent books on the art and craft of teaching. I like Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov and Tools for Teaching by Fred Jones. I'm going to go through and review the basics in these books. If I don't, I'm prone to forget some of the basics even after 20 years of teaching.

5. Go to bed and Get up earlier. If you have been sleeping in all summer, take the three or four days before school and start waking up earlier. Am I talking crazy talk? No seriously. Here's why: you don't want to be trying to climb out of a fog your first week of school. You are establishing relationships and want to be sharp. True: the first day of school will provide plenty of energy. I'm talking about Wednesday and Thursday. If you have already built up a habit of getting up early, you will acclimate to your new schedule better.

6. Figure out your go-to-healthy-teaching diet. Jump into the new school year with an eating plan, and go to the grocery store and buy things you need. Figure out what can go in the freezer and last you for several weeks. Also, get yourself some fresh fruits and vegetables. If you just sit down for ten minutes, you can probably come up with an excellent plan. Don't leave your diet to chance. The better you plan now, the better you will feel as the teaching begins. 

7. Think out your new school year workout schedule. Good news: you are going to spend five days in a row on your feet. That is exercise. It counts. But it is not enough. You need to add to it to keep healthy. If all you have in you is 10 minutes a day for exercise, then start there. Go for a brisk walk. Think it out ahead of time. 

Plan for success. 

You got this! 

And sign up for our Keep it Cool Newsletter in the upper right hand corner.